On Change

Using philosophy to empower business leaders

In the midst of a world that seeks certainty in a constantly changing landscape, Heraclitus' age-old wisdom holds true: change is the only constant. Embracing the philosophy of understanding the inevitability of change, this article explores how letting go of the uncontrollable can lead to a mindset shift, adaptability, and a focus on what one can influence in both life and business.

Heraclitus dared to share with us one of the most important pieces of proven thought available in the business world: “Change is the only constant in life”. However, entrepreneurs and businessmen (and women), seek to live a life filled with certainty and effective risk management. I’ve seen, in many years of experience and different journeys around the world, diverse courses and classes about how to manage risk, or how to anticipate every single thing that could happen in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world.  

Nonetheless, many of these methodologies bite the dust when a “Black Swan” (thanks, Nassim Taleb) comes to change “normality” as we currently know it. And I don’t have to get all technical in here… we all know what COVID did in the last couple of years. A perfect example of a “Black Swan” in a market and business world that brags about having the perfect formula of success. 

That’s where philosophy comes in, and what Heraclitus tried to warn us around 2,500 years ago. It is not about anticipating or managing risk, it is about understanding that life can change in any minute, and there is not much we can do about it.  

So how does philosophy help?  

It helps by giving us a cold and warm sense of tranquility, almost like a bittersweet moment of comprehension, and what I mean here is that when we genuinely understand that there is an  epic amount of variables that we cannot influence or control, we let go… and when we let go of what we cannot control, we shift into a mindset of focusing into all of those things we do have control in our lives and decisions.  

Consequently, we stop losing time complaining and stop excusing or conditioning our peace of mind because of things that happen outside of said control. By attaining what I like to call “Philosophy Management”, we are given the most useful tool of all… adaptability (thanks, Charles Darwin). 

So, as you read, is not about trying to anticipate every single thing that could go wrong. It is about trying to understand that there might be a new technology, being secretly developed, that will change our understanding of how we do business, and that the perspective we give to this is the difference if we are leaded by fate, or dragged by it (thanks, Seneca.) 

“Understanding change is inevitable in the deepest level becomes the very first step to managing it effectively.”

Who am I? I’m still figuring that one out, but as for what I do, first and foremost, I’m a father to two great kids and husband to my wonderful wife. I spent much of my adult life in the U.S. Air Force on active duty. After retiring from the military, I founded the Perennial Leader Project to dedicate my efforts to searching for and spreading wisdom for modern life. I enjoy exploring the intersection of wisdom traditions and hope to publish my first book in the coming year.


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Juan Perez

Business consultant merging ancient Stoic wisdom into corporate world. Host of “Estoicismo Practico” podcast, delving into practical Stoic philosophy in Spanish.

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